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  • BULLETS & CAPS PRESIDENT SUSAN O'MALLEY PROFILED

              Bullets & Caps President Susan O'Malley is the cover
         story in an extensive feature by Michael Abramowitz in the
         WASHINGTON POST MAGAZINE under the header, "Hard Sell."  The
         sub-head notes at 35, O'Malley "has risen to the top of the
         pro sports business.  She has turned her success into a
         public fable, a motivational speech.  But how much credit
         has she really earned?"  Abramowitz writes O'Malley is
         "arguably the most accomplished woman in her field.  She has
         much praise and criticism heaped upon her by others, but the
         only real claim she makes for herself in public ... is that
         she has helped raise the Bullets from the dregs of the NBA
         to box office success, building a platform for (still
         anticipated) on-court success as well."  Bullets & Caps
         Owner Abe Pollin: "She is very, very tough, but very fair,
         and that's the way I like it."  Abramowitz adds that
         O'Malley's critics "range from those who have clashed with
         her in office struggles or been forced out during
         reorganizations to colleagues in the NBA who have nothing
         personal against her but who question whether O'Malley's
         business achievements are all that they seem. ... Does
         O'Malley threaten some people in the pro basketball and
         hockey worlds because she is a woman in a position of power? 
         Definitely.  Does she deserve either as much credit as she
         gives herself or as much criticism as her enemies hurl at
         her?  Very much debatable -- and very actively debated."    
              FORCED SELLOUTS? Abramowitz notes that O'Malley
         "brought to the Bullets a definite philosophy about
         marketing the team: that the best way to create demand was
         to create the perception that Bullets tickets were scarce." 
         O'Malley says she set about "forcing sellouts," abandoning a
         plan that allowed partial season ticket holders to pick any
         ten games they wanted and, instead, picking the games for
         them.  Abramowitz notes the move "immediately ensured a
         sizable base of fans for at least a quarter of the home
         games."  Bullets attendance rose "impressively ... but soon
         the whispers started that her numbers were inflated, that
         the Bullets were giving tickets away to sponsors -- or at
         least discounting many so heavily that the turnstile numbers
         were meaningless. ... Such criticism is buttressed by
         sources who have seen confidential NBA financial data that
         show the Bullets' gate receipts remained among the lowest in
         the league, even as their reported attendance rose during
         O'Malley's tenure" (WASHINGTON POST MAGAZINE, 1/12).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NBA
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              The Ravens "are close" to completing a deal with
         Western Maryland College to make it their training camp home
         for the next three years (Baltimore SUN, 1/14)....Reported
         Blue Jays suitor Murray Frum and his advisor, Capital Canada
         Ltd. CEO Robert Foster, said all the investors in their
         prospective group are Canadian.  Foster: "There is no U.S.
         money in the group" (TORONTO SUN, 1/14)....The Knicks
         received a new chartered plane, a "gift" from ITT.  They
         will share the plane with the NHL Rangers (NEWSDAY, 1/14).
         ...The Rangers introduced their new "alternative jersey"
         last night against the Islanders.  Jay Greenberg of the N.Y.
         POST: "Has hockey become so devoid of color that the only
         way to brighten it is by changing jerseys?  In the absence
         of new stars, do we have to settle for new teams with new
         schemes? ... Granted, the Rangers are only going to wear
         these things about six times a season.  For a team with
         their history, it is six times too many" (N.Y. POST, 1/14). 
         N.Y. DAILY NEWS columnist Frank Brown: "Under Lady Liberty's
         chin sat a brief, to-the-point 'NYR,' which made the whole
         thing look like a license plate" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/14). 
         ESPN's Linda Cohn, on the jersey: "Why do I think of the
         final scene of the Planet of the Apes" ("SportsCenter,"
         1/13)....The Dolphins will unveil their uniform and logo
         alterations today.  Fans linked to the Internet can ask team
         President Eddie Jones questions about the changes at 2pm ET
         at http//pwr.com/ dolphins (MIAMI HERALD, 1/14)...."CBS
         Evening News" ran an "Editor's Note" during last night's
         newscast on sexual assault charges being dropped against the
         Cowboys' Michael Irvin and Erik Williams.  CBS's Dan Rather:
         "In fairness, and for thoroughness and accuracy, we wanted
         to make sure you knew" ("CBS Evening News," 1/13).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Cablevision, CBS, Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, Franchises, Miami Dolphins, New York Islanders, New York Knicks, New York Liberty, New York Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • GM'S SCHOTT THERAPY? IF MARGE SELLS CAR DEALERSHIP

              General Motors said it will drop its complaint against
         Reds Owner Marge Schott if her Chevrolet-GEO dealership is
         sold by February 20, according to Geoff Hobson of the
         CINCINNATI ENQUIRER.  A sale of the dealership is "imminent"
         to Joseph Auto Group, and GM is "expected" to approve the
         sale.  Meanwhile, the state of Ohio has "no plans" to pursue
         revoking Schott's dealership license despite GM's
         allegations she faked 57 car sales.  Jeffrey Coleman, chief
         of dealers licensing for the Ohio Motor Vehicle Dealers
         Board: "There is nothing in GM's motion or the accompanying
         affidavits which appears to constitute violations over which
         the Bureau has any jurisdiction."  Schott still faces a
         review by MLB, and one MLB owner told the ENQUIRER's Hobson
         that he "expected" the issue to be raised this week when the
         owners meet in Scottsdale, AZ (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/14).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cincinnati Reds, Franchises, General Motors, MLB
  • NEW NAME FOR JERSEY'S ARENA TEAM SPARKS CONTROVERSY

              The Red Dogs, the nickname and mascot for the new AFL
         team in New Jersey, have "angered civic organizations
         dedicated to alerting the public to the dangers of alcohol
         abuse" but there is also the "situation of having a team
         associated with one brewing company playing its home games
         at a facility where another brewer enjoys exclusive beer-
         selling rights," according to Guy Sterling of the Newark
         STAR-LEDGER.  The name was selected in a franchise naming
         contest, and team officials liked the name, "both for its
         connection with football ... as well as its commercial
         potential."  "Red Dog" is a beer distributed by the Miller
         Brewing Co.  Team CEO Jim Leahy: "When we picked the name,
         we thought if we could go to Miller and get a sponsorship
         out of it, we'd have the best of all worlds."  Miller signed
         on as a sponsor, but the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority,
         overseer of the Meadowlands, is "not keen" on the team's
         choice.  The Red Dogs will play at  Continental Airlines
         Arena, where Budweiser holds pouring rights and Anheuser-
         Busch is a major sponsor of the NJSEA.  Authority President
         & CEO Robert Mulcahy III says the dispute between the
         brewing companies has yet to be resolved, but should be this
         week (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 1/12).   
    
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, Anheuser Busch, Continental Airlines, Franchises
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